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African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023 - “For Africa, From Africa”


06 - 07 September 2023


African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


“For Africa, From Africa”

African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023

Format: Hybrid (with in-person element in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA; and virtual participation)

Venue: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Concept note: Word | PDF

Registration: Open

Programme: Available now


The African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023 will be held on 6-7 September 2023, with 5 September 2023 (referred to as "Day 0") dedicated to pre-Forum sessions, including private meetings before the official start day of the regional Forum. The event will bring together stakeholders across Africa to take stock of progress and discuss challenges and opportunities for promoting responsible business and human rights conduct and corporate accountability in the region. The Forum will be convened by the African Union (AU) and co-organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in close collaboration with local and regional, continental and international actors.

The theme of the African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023 is “For Africa, From Africa”, which reflects the importance of local perspectives and solutions in the collective effort to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in relation to operationalising the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Given that “accelerating the Implementation of the AfCFTA" is the AU theme of 2023, the forum will first focus on the linkages between the implementation of the UNGPs and the operationalisation of the AfCFTA. In addition, the Forum will focus on African experiences and challenges related to business and human rights. It will seek to generate innovative solutions tailored to the continent's unique context. By highlighting African voices and perspectives, the Forum will emphasise the African way of delivering the UNGPs. Unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, the UNGPs are directed at States and companies and clarify their respective duties and responsibilities to protect and respect human rights in the context of business activities and the need to ensure access to an effective remedy for those whose rights have been adversely affected by such activities.

Forum Format

The African Business and Human Rights Forum 2023 is intended to have an in-person format to foster active networking and build constructive relationships, as well as an online format to provide opportunities for remote participation for those unable to travel

Dedicated thematic sessions focusing on major trends and challenges in the region will be held over the course of the two days. In addition, the day before the Forum, 5 September 2023, will represent "day 0", aimed at hosting partner-led side events. Regional organisations will be invited to host side events; coalitions of civil society organisations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs) will be invited to conduct parallel stakeholder-based sessions.